Creating a Popular Brand Through Distinctive Assets

By Sabrina Kaye

From the images above, were you able to successfully identify the company associated with the image? If you could, this is the result of smart, strategic implementation of distinctive assets.

What are distinctive assets?

To understand how distinctive assets contribute to a brand’s identity, we must first understand what distinctive assets are. Distinctive assets are any kind of element that signals the brand name to consumers. Examples of elements are:

  • Colors
  • Slogans
  • Music, sounds, jingles
  • Style of advertising
  • Logos
  • Characters
  • Packaging

However, a given element is only considered distinctive if it is:

  • Unique: the element evokes the brand, not the competitors
  • Famous: Most, if not all consumers should know the element represents the brand name

The key to distinctive assets is consistency

Having distinctive elements present is only the first step in establishing a successful campaign and a recognizable brand image. Elements do not become distinctive assets immediately. Instead, repetition and consistency are key for consumers to learn the links between certain elements and the associated brand. Some examples of distinctive assets established by successful brands are the Coca-Cola bottle shape, the McDonald’s golden arches, the M&M’s characters, and of course, the famous Apple logo. While there are a wide range of elements that can be applied as distinctive assets, the most successful companies tend to focus on the following 5 elements:

  • Colors, logos, patterns
  • Packaging
  • Characters
  • Tone of voice
  • Context/Environment

If a brand is able to establish successful distinctive assets, there can be a wide range of potential benefits

One of the biggest benefits of distinctive assets is that a brand is able to incorporate a more creative alternative than simply showing the brand’s name itself. This can open the door to more interaction between the consumer and a campaign in a variety of ways. By establishing this interaction/relationship between the consumer and a brand or campaign, the distinctive assets can be integrated with the product itself, which can then improve overall in-store performance. Moreover, distinctive assets can allow a brand to distinguish themselves amongst competitors. Although the product may not be entirely unique, the message and/or tone of a campaign can set apart an otherwise common product.


I want to create distinctive assets for my brand, how do I do it?

While the idea of implementing distinctive assets is simple, the execution is not as straightforward. Of course, it takes the right combination of creativity, skill, and strategy to create the most successful assets, but the following steps can help guide you through the process of assessing and establishing your distinctive assets.

  1. Identify the distinctive assets you can use immediately
  2. Identify elements that have the potential to grow into assets
  3. Assess the effectiveness of your assets
  4. Identify weak elements to avoid
Neha Saboo